Right in the middle of Vietnam, the former imperial city of Hue is not only famous for its royal tombs and citadel but also the poetic Perfume River that runs through the city. Feel the spirit of Hue by cruising along the river on a dragon boat, immersing into its pure nature and visiting the well-known Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful city.
Built in 1601 on a beautiful spot overlooking the Perfume River, Thien Mu is one of the oldest and prettiest pagodas in the country. The pagoda features many golden Buddha images, along with a big bell casted in 1710, and a stone turtle holding a marble stele inscribed in the 17th century.
In 1963, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc who hailed from this pagoda, shocked the world by pouring a can of gas over his head and burned himself to death on a busy street in Saigon. He was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnamese government led by Ngo Dinh Diem, several Buddhist monks followed his example immolating themselves. In reference to a photograph of the monk on fire, the US President Kennedy said: “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.”